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Send CCTV footage of Contai civic polling for forensic exam: Calcutta HC to EC

The division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj said, “We are of the opinion that...in larger public interest and to uphold democratic principles it is necessary to get forensic audit of CCTV footage of the Contai Municipality election done."

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
April 27, 2022 5:29:56 am
The court also observed, “The CFSL is free to take help of any independent agency.

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed the State Election Commission to send CCTV footage of voting from booths for the Contai Municipality elections for forensic examination to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in New Delhi amid charges of rigging during the polls.

The division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj said, “We are of the opinion that…in larger public interest and to uphold democratic principles it is necessary to get forensic audit of CCTV footage of the Contai Municipality election done. The State Election Commission should send the CCTV footage of the voting for a forensic audit within 10 days.”

While sending the CCTV footage, the State Election Commission will duly mark the polling booth numbers, the court said, adding that the CFSL will ascertain if there was booth capturing, EVM tampering, forged voting or violence, etc at the time of voting.

The court also observed, “The CFSL is free to take help of any independent agency. It can also seek more documents from the Election Commission as they were preserved by court order. The exercise should be completed within 6 weeks.”

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The bench fixed June 13 as the next date of hearing in the case. The HC was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari’s brother Soumendu Adhikari alleging large-scale violence and rigging during the elections.

Voting for 108 municipalities were held in the state on February 27.

Soon after the court order, Adhikari tweeted, “I sincerely welcome the court for this order that would uphold democratic principles. “

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